For years it seemed California could pretty much spend itself past drunken sailor levels and tax the stuffing out of everyone to keep the debt payments current. The state’s goal to be the leading tax-and-spend municipality was boosted not insubstantially by skyrocketing real-estate prices (and the heavy taxes thereon) and permitted some absolutely eye-popping defined-benefit plans for government workers. Now, with pension funds dizzy from repeated blows to the head, tax receipts looking dismal, IOUs instead of refund checks and ballooning unfunded liabilities, California is going to need more than an oversubscribed bond issuance (fueled by tax free status, we might add) to pull the chestnuts out. As if the times were not rough enough, the citizenry are starting to get pissed. (It’s about time?)
An angry mob of thousands converged on an Orange County parking lot in southern California on a recent Saturday morning for an anti-tax protest, stunning even the organizers with the size of the turnout. It was just one in a series of public demonstrations that have cropped up around the state.
Talk of a brewing tax revolt has been largely ignored by the mainstream media, and many political analysts are skeptical, though they concede that the taxpayer mutiny that led to the landmark Prop 13 was similarly dismissed by political professionals.